David Tomlinson Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (5)

Born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Died in Westminster, London, England, UK  (stroke)
Birth NameDavid Cecil MacAlister Tomlinson
Nickname Dave Tomlinson
Height 6' 1¼" (1.86 m)

Mini Bio (1)

David Tomlinson is best known for his role as George Banks in Walt Disney's Mary Poppins (1964). As a youth he spent a short spell in the guards. He joined the RAF in WW2 where he survived the trauma of a plane crash on his first solo flight due to engine failure, then becoming a flying instructor for the remainder of the war. He began his film career in the pre-war British film Quiet Wedding (1941) and followed that with Leslie Howard's 'Pimpernel' Smith (1941). Altogether he has made over 50 films and on stage he has had long-running successes in many plays including "The Little Hut" with Robert Morley and Roger Moore as his understudy. During the 1930s he understudied Alec Guinness. By the time he went to Hollywood to make Mary Poppins (1964) he was a veteran film and stage actor. David returned to Disney to great success in The Love Bug (1968) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). David was close friends with Errol Flynn, Robert Morley and Peter Sellers. He also spent time with Walt Disney whilst they discussed his role in Mary Poppins (1964). He retired in the early 1980s after an exemplary career on film and stage, and will always be remembered as one of the centuries greatest character actors.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Luke Cumiskey

Spouse (2)

Audrey Freeman (17 May 1953 - 24 June 2000) ( his death) ( 4 children)
Mary Lindsay Hiddingh (September 1943 - 2 December 1943) ( her death)

Trade Mark (1)

His roles on Disney's motion pictures.

Trivia (12)

David narrowly survived a plane crash in 1957 flying a Tiger Moth close to his house in Buckinghamshire. Much was made of the incident and he was charged with reckless flying for which he was acquitted. Having been an RAF flying instructor in WW2 this was a huge dent to his confidence. David rarely flew again.
Served as a Flying Instructor in the RAF in WW2.
Father of producer and 1st assistant director Henry Tomlinson and former actor James Adam Tomlinson.
Retired from acting in 1979.
David's first wife, Mary Lindsay Hiddingh, committed a murder-suicide on December 2, 1943 by taking her two children Michael 8 and John Hiddingh 6 and jumping out of a hotel window in New York. Mary was 34 and had been suffering from depression by the loss of her first husband A.G. Hiddingh who was killed in action during World War II. In 1943 she was hoping to join David who had returned to England after his RAF training in Canada, but while in New York City, Mary soon learned it was extremely difficult to get to England during war time which probably led to her murder-suicide.
He always acted as his own agent in film and theatre negotiations.
Upon his death in 2000 British satirical magazine Private Eye published an uncharacteristically warm poem in tribute to him "So farewell David Tomlinson, noted British character actor...'Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height.'. Yes, that was your catchphrase. And where you are going now" .
After David's death Griff Rhys Jones wrote "David Tomlinson was that most winning of companions: an anarchist in patrician clothing. He came from the first rank of gentleman actors, which included Wilfrid Hyde-White and his close friend Robert Morley. They exported to Hollywood the essence of effortless English comic hauteur. They seemed to be the type, not to act it. And David could use his commanding presence to devastating effect in real life. To disconcert the overbearing was a hobby of his, but he had patience and jokes for young actors and huge reserves of admiration. He was an act, a good one, supplemented by an outrageous baby face and upswept eyebrows. The reality was a sympathetic and understanding man. He was as funny off as he was on, which was invariably very funny indeed.".
"Peter only behaved when David was on set". Simon Williams describing working with Peter Sellers in David's last film The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980).
Made professional stage debut October 1936.
Walt Disney came to see David in "The Ring of Truth" at the Savoy Theatre London, England in 1959. Four years later Disney invited him to play Mr Banks in Mary Poppins (1964)".
Sarah Gertrude Tomlinson, David's Aunt, was married to actor Lauderdale Maitland until her untimely death of undiagnosed appendicitis in 1907. Sarah was also an actress and acted under the name of Gertrude Valentine.

Personal Quotes (6)

Sometimes I think back to Father's pronouncement that I would never succeed at anything. I remember the variety of schools where I never achieved much - the times of childish despair. I never quite dared dream then that I would actually manage to earn my living in my chosen profession. I may be sentimental but I can't deny that I have been luckier than most.
Professionally, I have lived long enough in the business to have played a wide variety of characters, from heroes and amiable silly asses to dignified old gentlemen. For good measure I have even played a wicked villain, dying with a bullet in my chest in the back of a plane, the only time, as far as I can recall, when I wasn't basically a "nice guy".
It seems to me a remarkably full life that I have to look back on. Though everything is transient there has been so much crammed in to it. It is something to have lived through two world wars, to have served in the Army and the Air Force (and professionally to have completed the cycle by playing naval officers on several occasions). I have weathered major tragedy and have had my triumphs and joys. Most of all I have had the blessings of a wonderful family life.
"You will either be a film star or nothing"! David told his understudy Roger Moore during the run of "The Little Hut" at the Lyric Theatre, London, England.
I think that actors in the theatre invariably are as good on screen, but I think that a film actor who has not such experience will very often come to grief in the theatre.
It never ceases to be a profound shock to see oneself on the screen. I have seldom found an actor who likes to see himself on the screen. I have never liked myself on the screen at all.

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